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Schaumburg medical malpractice lawyersEmergency room doctors, nurses, and other staff are held to extremely high standards. They are often the first medical professionals that an injured or ill person seeks help from. ER staff have the crucial responsibility of assessing a patient’s condition and determining the next steps. They often deal with immediate, life-threatening medical emergencies. If an ER doctor makes a mistake, it can cost the patient his or her life. If you were injured or a loved one died and you suspect that substandard emergency room treatment was the cause, you may have a valid medical malpractice case.

What Constitutes Substandard Medical Treatment at the ER?

Going to the emergency room does not guarantee a positive outcome. ER doctors and nurses cannot always save a patient or fix their medical issues. However, ER staff are expected to provide medical care that meets the accepted medical standard. In other words, they must provide the level of care that a reasonably competent medical staff of the same profession would have provided in a similar situation. If a doctor fails to provide medical care that meets the accepted medical standard and the patient is harmed or killed as a result, this may be considered medical negligence. If the patient’s injury or death is caused by negligent medical care and the injury or death causes damages, this is medical malpractice.

ER doctors often must make quick decisions with limited information. For example, an ER doctor may not have time to get a full patient history or to order a battery of tests before he or she begins treatment. Because of this, the standard of care that ER doctors must meet may be lower than what would be expected of a primary care physician or another medical professional in a less immediate situation.  

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Posted on in Medical Malpractice

Arlington Heights medical malpractice lawyersIdeally, a professional in any industry should do his or her job to the best of his or her ability. When someone is a doctor, surgeon, anesthesiologist, or other medical professional, job performance is a matter of life and death. Even a seemingly simple mistake or oversight can lead to disastrous consequences in the medical field. Some medical mistakes are so grievous that they are called “never events” because they should never happen. If you or a loved one were harmed in a never event, it is important to learn about your legal options. You may be entitled to financial compensation through a medical malpractice claim.

Examples of Never Events

Medical professionals are human, and like all humans, they can make mistakes. However, when a medical professional makes a serious, avoidable medical mistake, the professional or the facility may be liable for damages. Often, medical malpractice cases involve ambiguous situations in which a medical worker’s actions are questionable but not immediately, obviously negligent. It is only after a detailed investigation that the medical professional’s negligence becomes apparent. A never event is typically much more blatant. Some examples of never events include:

  • Performing surgery on the wrong body part
  • Performing surgery on the wrong patient
  • Leaving a foreign object such as a surgical tool inside the patient’s body
  • Using contaminated drugs or devices
  • Administering the wrong medication or an inaccurate dose of medication
  • Inseminating the wrong egg or using the wrong donor sperm during artificial insemination
  • Allowing a patient’s bed sore to reach a stage 3 or above in severity
  • Physical abuse or sexual assault of a patient

Legal Rights After Being the Victim of a Never Event

Although serious, avoidable medical mistakes should never be made, studies show that these events are more common than one may assume. One study found that over 4,000 never events occur each year in the United States. If you were injured because of a medical mistake or your loved one died because of medical negligence, you may have the right to bring a civil claim against the liable party. You may be entitled to financial compensation for medical bills, lost income due to missed work, funeral and burial expenses, disability, disfigurement, reduced earning capacity, pain and suffering, and other damages.

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Arlington Heights medical malpractice lawyersThere are a variety of ways that doctors or other medical professionals can make mistakes that affect the health and well-being of their patients. Misdiagnosis is one of the most prevalent forms of medical malpractice, and it can cause patients to suffer serious harm. If a person’s condition is not properly diagnosed, they may not receive the necessary treatment in time to prevent serious risks to their health, or they may receive the wrong type of treatment, which can lead to additional health complications. 

Conditions That Can Lead to Misdiagnosis

Misdiagnosis or missed diagnosis can occur for a variety of reasons. Doctors may fail to properly consider a patient’s medical history, they may not spend enough time examining a patient, or they may not give enough weight to the symptoms reported by the patient. In other cases, diagnostic errors, including mistakes at medical labs, failure to order the proper tests, or failure to properly review test results, can lead to an incorrect diagnosis.

Some of the illnesses and ailments that are most commonly misdiagnosed include:

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Arlington Heights pharmacy malpractice attorneysThe majority of U.S. residents take prescription medications from time to time. Unlike over-the-counter medications like aspirin, prescription medication must be prescribed by a physician and are typically dispensed by a pharmacist. The reason many medications are only available through a doctor’s prescription is because the medications have the potential to be abused or cause dangerous side effects. When we take a prescription medication, we trust that the medication will be safe and effective. Unfortunately, harmful medication mistakes happen to countless individuals every year in the United States.

Types of Medication Errors

Medication mistakes often occur due to an oversight or mix-up at a doctor’s office, hospital, or pharmacy at which a prescription is filled. Some of the most common medication mistakes include:

  • Mixing up “sound alike” medications with similar names such as hydroxyzine and hydralazine
  • Administering the wrong type of medication to a patient in a hospital
  • Giving a patient too little or too much medication
  • Skipping doses of medication
  • Prescribing or administering a medication the patient is allergic to
  • Prescribing or administering a medication that negatively interacts with another drug
  • Mixing up patient files
  • Failing to adequately warn patient about drug interactions or side effects
  • Failing to provide adequate instructions regarding how to take the drug
  • Mislabeling medication
  • Incorrectly manufacturing a medication that results in a medication defect

Bringing a Medical Malpractice Claim for Drug Errors

If you or a loved one were the victim of a drug mistake, you may be interested in bringing a legal action against the liable party. The party legally responsible for a drug mistake may be a medical professional such as a physician or a pharmacist, or it may be an organization such as a nursing home, hospital, or drug manufacturer.  To bring a successful medical malpractice claim for a medication error, you and your attorney will need to show that:

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Arlington Heights personal injury attorneysPharmacies have the exceptionally important responsibility of filling patients’ prescriptions and dispensing medication. If a pharmacist or other pharmacy worker makes a mistake, it is possible that a patient could receive the wrong medication or the wrong dosage of medication. This may lead to serious or even fatal consequences. If you or a loved one were harmed because of a pharmacy error, you may have a valid medical malpractice claim.

Common Types of Pharmacy Mistakes

When patients take a prescription to the pharmacist to have it filled, most trust that they will receive the correct prescription in the dosage ordered by their doctor. Unfortunately, pharmacists sometimes make mistakes. If a patient does not recognize a pharmacy mistake before taking the medication, he or she may take a drug that leads to severe medical complications. Some of the most common pharmacy errors include:

  • Dispensing the wrong medication
  • Dispensing a medication in the wrong dosage
  • Giving the patient misinformation regarding the medication’s administration or dosage
  • Failing to account for drug interactions
  • Failing to account for patient allergies

Elements of Pharmacy Malpractice

If you or a loved one were the victim of a pharmacy mistake, you may be wondering what your legal options are. In order to bring a successful pharmacy malpractice claim and recover financial compensation, four main elements must be present:

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